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Feb. 1, 2017, 5:26 a.m. EST

VW to pay $1.2 billion to U.S. vehicle owners

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By William Wilkes

Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay at least $1.2 billion in compensation to owners of about 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles affected by the company's emissions scandal in the U.S., according to court documents filed late Tuesday.

The German car maker and U.S. regulators agreed that Volkswagen would pay substantial cash compensation to vehicle owners and would buy some vehicles back while fixing others. The payments could rise to $4 billion if regulators don't approve the fix, the documents show. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Volkswagen has been embroiled in lawsuits in the U.S. in connection with its admission in late 2015 that it installed software in some 11 million vehicles world-wide that allowed them to cheat emissions testing.

Last month it pleaded guilty to charges in the U.S. that included conspiring to defraud the government and consumers by manipulating diesel engines. The company said it would pay a criminal fine of $4.3 billion after reaching settlements in 2016 civil law suits totaling up to $17.5 billion.

Separately automotive components supplier Robert Bosch GmbH said Wednesday it would pay $327.5 million to settle a U.S. civil claim related to its role in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal. The parts supplier to Volkswagen said, however, that the settlement didn't mean it accepted the plaintiff's charges or any liability.

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